We’re excited to share that Valley Venture Mentors was awarded nearly $150,000 this week to support and expand its mentorship program under the Massachusetts Innovation Mentoring Initiative. This highly competitive grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will increase the number of active start-ups VVM can serve, while providing us the resources to improve the quality of new enterprises and build out programs to support the innovation economy in the Pioneer Valley.
Governor Deval Patrick met on Tuesday with VVM board members Scott Foster and John Garvey, as well as other area innovators, to discuss this and other ways in which state government can help support and enhance entrepreneurial and innovation activities in each region of the Commonwealth.
The new funding will allow VVM to extend its support for entrepreneurs not only by expanding the number of companies being mentored, but also by opening a co-working space for entrepreneurs, hiring additional program staff, and hosting more events for entrepreneurs and potential investors, including ‘demo days’ and pitch contests.
“VVM is proud to be receiving this award from the Mass Tech Collaborative which will allow VVM to expand our effective and dynamic mentorship program that provides critical business advice to entrepreneurs,” says co-founder Scott Foster. “This award recognizes VVM’s contribution to the growth of our local entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as VVM’s efforts to connect entrepreneurs to resources across New England.”
The opportunity for expansion comes as VVM prepares to support its eighth class of startups since its launch in 2011. Based in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and targeting cities such as Springfield and Holyoke, VVM has served more than 30 entrepreneurs by providing deep and wide connections with business mentors across Massachusetts.
Valley Venture Mentors will work closely with Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC) on this program.